Monday, 7 July 2008

List of Absinthes Approved for US launch (or in process)

This image was used to illustrate Swiss absinthe moving "from the shade to the light" when they were legalized in 2005.


111 now approved (including significantly re-formulated brands), at least 122 either approved or in process!



Following an earlier posting, some readers said that it would be useful to have a full list of absinthes approved for US launch or thought to have pending applications, combined with references to public commentary or reviews. I will update this page whenever new absinthes are listed on the TTB website or are announced and/or discussed publicly.

Bookmark this page to check back for new updates.

Listed on the TTB website or found in the US market

1. Lucid: reviews. New label approval: March 2012. Even newer label approval: March 2015.

2. Kübler: reviews.
3. St. George: reviews.
4. Grande Absente: some experts do not consider this to be a real absinthe, since the label states it is a liqueur and thus it contains sugar. Absinthes do not contain sugar. Commentary.
5. Le Tourment Vert: same sugar comment as Grande Absente. reviews. Brand now withdrawn but bottles may still be found in some States.
6. La Fée Parisienne: reviews. See No. 93 which is a replacement for this.
7. Mythe Absinthe Traditional: reviews.
8. Libertine. Believed to have been withdrawn.
9. Mata Hari Absinthe Bohemian: commentary.
10. La Crème Kübler: not an absinthe, but a liqueur with an absinthe base. Nothing known about this product apart from the labels. Not yet launched in the USA.
11. Vincent van Gogh Klasiek Absinthe from Luctor (of Vincent van Gogh Vodka): nothing known about this product apart from its label. Not yet launched in the USA.
12. Artemisia (Fat Dog Spirits, Florida): apart from its label, nothing is known about this product.
13. La Muse Verte: discussion.
14/15. Two Sirène brands from Chicago's North Shore Distillery: blanche approved, but still no launch date.
16. Denver's Leopold: reviews.
17. Trillium: discussion. Now withdrawn.
18. La Clandestine Absinthe: reviews.
19. Versinthe Versinthe "real" absinthe has been rumoured for some while, but it is strange to see this latest TTB approval, with a "Versinthe" brand classified within "OTHER FRUIT & PEELS LIQUEURS." The label has now been added on the TTB website, showing that this a 45% abv (or 90 proof) absinthe.
20. Marteau De La Belle Epoque: Gwydion Stone's Marteau has not changed its name. It seems that the TTB spell-checker has broken down. Replaced by Master's Reserve (89 below).
21. Obsello: the first Spanish absinthe, although on its initial label, it was claimed to be suisse grade. Later re-launched as a California absinthe and now withdrawn.
22. Duplais Verte: the first of the Tempus Fugit Spirits to be approved.
23. Mansinthe: the second Tempus Fugit Spirit brand.
24. Vieux Pontarlier: the third Tempus Fugit brand.
25. The first Czech absinthe, St. Antoine Reserve. Discussed in some detail at Fée Verte. Not yet launched in the USA.
26. Taboo Genuine from Canada? Label details not yet visible on the TTB site, but if it's Taboo from Canada, it seems likely to be this Taboo.  (Edit: yes, it is). Not yet launched in the USA.
27. Pernod Aux Extraits de l'Absinthe: announced here for July 2008 launch. Reviews. Now withdrawn and replaced by 87 below.
28. Djabel: the second Czech "absinth." Believed to have been discontinued in the USA.
29. Green Fairy: the third Czech "absinth." Still available in a few States.
30. Jade Nouvelle-Orléans: at last. As pre-announced in June. Label not yet visible on the TTB site.
31. Vieux Carré: from Philadelphia Distilling. Interesting to see TWO New Orleans related absinthes in one week. Embyronic website only at 31 October 2008. Vieux Carré seems likely to be available in Pennsylvania soon (or now?) according to this.
32. Pere Francois, the first of four absinthes that seem to be handled by Unique Imports (see also below). Difficult to find in the USA.
33. Koruna, the 4th Czech brand and the 3rd from the same company. Difficult to find in the USA.
34. La Valote, another Swiss brand from the Val-du-Travers. Difficult to find in the USA.
35. La Charlotte from the same company that makes La Libertine. Difficult to find in the USA and appears to be heavily discounted.
36. Pacifique from Marc Bernhard. Read about it at the Wormwood Society and on their blog.
37. Manguin Premium Number One. Another absinthe from Unique. Only seen in Las Vegas.
38. Upsynth, the authentic genuine Austrian absinthe spirit. From a company that market an absinthe and soda premix in Australia. Discussed (note spelling) here. Not yet launched in the USA.
39. Corsair Red, apparently the first red-coloured absinthe to be launched in the USA from Corsair Artisan in Kentucky.
40/41. The two new absinthes from Delaware Phoenix (a little distillery in upstate New York): Walton Waters and Meadow of Love. Congratulations, Cheryl!
42. Francois Guy, at last! Not yet launched in the USA.
43. Lemercier, the fourth absinthe from Unique. Difficult to find in the USA.
44. Lamesinthe La Verte. Another French product which is described on the label as a liqueur. Difficult to find in the USA.Presumably this means it contains sugar: some experts would say that this is therefore not real abinthe.
45. Absente looks likely to be re-launched with an artemisia absinthium base. Will they be selling the new Absente at the same price as the old Absente, e.g. $31 and upwards? Does this indicate that Grande Absente has not been very successful (this also has a new label approval, but it is not visible on the TTB site). Both labels are approved with the qualification "THE FINISHED PRODUCT MUST BE "THOUGHTFUL" PURSUANT THE 21 CFR 172.510," whatever that means!
46/47. Abyss Authentic and Abyss Raspberry (!): labels not yet visible on the TTB site, although the mispelt advice on the TTB approval that these must be "MUST BE THYNE FREE PURSUANT TO 21 CFR 172.510" coupled with the Abyss trademark registration makes it clear these are to be marketed as absinthe.
48. Fleurs du Mal: which has no actual reference to absinthe but the glass, strength and brand name clearly suggest it is aimed at the absinthe market. Difficult to find in the USA.
49. Herbsaint: now approved. see this blog for more information. The latest label approval shows that the "absinthe" descriptor has now been removed from the label, but I'll leave this in this list for sentimental reasons!
50. Absinthe Ordinaire from the makers of Absente and Grande Absente. Again declared as a liqueur because of its sugar content. Apparently I have to go back to Absinthe College because this label states: "Legend has it that the first true Absinthe recipe was created by Dr. Pierre Ordinaire in 1792 in rural France." Seems that Wikipedia, the Virtual Absinthe Museum , and all the other experts disagree.
51. La Fée NV. 38%. I expect this one will arouse some interest on the Forums! Fée Verte discussion here.
52. Edward 111: Discovered in late night Tweets on Twitter. One of us may have been drinking (it helps!). Formula and label now approved. A traditional bleue style absinthe that will be produced in upstate New York and launch by mid to end of summer 2009 in NYC. Now appears to have been withdrawn.
53. Duplais Blanche: reviews. The 4th absinthe from Tempus Fugit with rumours of at least one more to come.
54. Crispin's Supérieure launch announced in the San Francisco Chronicle on August 15th, 2008. This now seems likely to emerge as Germain-Robin Aromatic Brandy, according to the COLA issued in March 2009.
55. Mephisto from the distillers of Mata-Hari. Difficult to find in the USA.
56/57. Two absinthes from the Great Lakes Distillery, Milwaukee under the Amerique 1912 name and both in 375 ml bottles: Absinthe Verte and Absinthe Rouge.
58. Fenom Modern Absinthe. 40% abv. Hand-crafted by "one of France's few remaining absinthe experts." Website coming soon.
59/60. La Sorciere. Made by Master Distiller, Davorin Kuchan, from his family recipe. Old World Spirits, 50% abv, with a brandy base. A verte and a blanche.
61/62. Bairnfather Extra Anise Absinth and Bairnsfather Natural Absinth: discussion here. Not yet launched in the USA.
63. Tabu Classic Strong from Germany. I wonder if we will ever see Taboo from Canada which was approved for launch some time ago. Not yet launched in the USA.
64. C.F. Berger Esprit Originale: apparently the US version of the old Verte Suisse. Not yet launched in the USA.
65. Esprit Edouard Supérieure: the third of the Jade range. Not yet launched in the USA.
66. 1901. The last of the Jade range.
67. Obstinée, another Swiss absinthe.
68. Trinity Absinthe Supérieure from Overland Distillery, Colorado.
69. Michel P. Roux Supreme Absinthe, at 75.5% a.b.v. (151 proof), this was the highest strength absinthe approved for US launch at the time (now overaken by number 76 on the list). The label states it is a 375 ml bottle and that every bottle is individually numbered. Unfortunately it also contains artificial colours.
70. Tenneyson Royale, another absinthe produced at the Emile Pernot distillery in Pontarlier. Brand website.

71/72. Ridge Absinthes from Joe Legate formerly known as T73, of the Wormwood Society. Both a blanche and a verte are now approved, according to their blog. Now re-launched as Vilya Absinthes.
73. Parnasse Absinth Superiore, the first Italian absinth(e) to be approved for US launch. At 50% and with a label that declares artificial colourings. Difficult to find in the USA.
74. Heritage from France via Alandia (the trademark owner), a verte to be sold by Tempus Fugit Spirits.
75. Brevans H.R. Giger, another from Tempus Fugit.
76. Gruner Fee from Fischer, Austria.
77. Knarr Absinthe Verte from Oregon. At 160 proof (or 80% abv), I believe this is the strongest alcohol content absinthe so far approved for US launch. Not that it is necessarily a good thing ...
78. Absente La Creme. Absinthe Cream Liqueur from the makers of Absente. 18% a.b.v. With artifical colours, and to be consumed within 6 months of opening. Interesting to note that Kübler have a similar approval (see 10 above), but have not yet launched this product in the USA, or indeed anywhere.
79. Blues Cat: another interesting absinthe from Delaware Phoenix. More details here. Produced as a one-off and now difficult to find in the USA.
80. Wild Card Pacific North West Absinthe.
81. Emperor Norton Absinthe Dieu, from San Francisco.
82. Letherbee Charred Oak Absinthe Brun, from Chicago.
83. Brimstone Liqueur Absinthe, from New Mexico.
84. At last, Toulouse Red from New Orleans.
85. Greenvillian Absinthe Nouveau from Dark Corner Distillery in South Carolina.
86. La Fée Blanche. Difficult to find in the USA.
87. Pernod (The Original Recipe): See longer write-up. This is listed separately here, since it is clearly a different product from 27 above.
88. Butterfly Classic Absinthe. Originally produced in Boston over 100 years ago, and now made in Switzerland.
89. Marteau Extrait D'Absinthe.
90. Redux from Colorado.
91. Toulouse Green from New Orleans.
92. Toad Chateau Espanole Tropical: from Wisconsin.
93. Replacement for No. 6 La Fée Parisienne: all-natural.
94. Fassett's Sixty Five. From Washington.
95. Tree Spirits (based on Apple Spirit): from Maine.
96. Doc's, at last. Made in Brooklyn.
97. Copper and King's Blanche Absinthe, from Kentucky. Not seen on the TTB site.
98. Haint Absinthe from Oregon. Again not seen on the TTB site.
99. Crown Valley Missouri Absinthe: an ultimate rarity! Not seen on the TTB site and not on the distiller's website. We have found a few retailers with limited stocks!
100. Eckert and Guthrie Absinthe Blanche from Livermore, California. Apparently a joint venture involving Winston Guthrie, author of one of the best books of absinthe cocktails.
101. Artisan Spirits Légende Blanche: quite possibly the same as no. 100 above. Same address, same strength (68% abv).
102. Artisan Spirits Légende  Verte: from the same company as 101 above.
103. Toulouse Green: at last the Verte from Atelier Vie, New Orleans (see 84 above).
104 - 106. Three vapor distilled blanches from Copper and Kings (again not seen on the TTB site).
107. Glenrose Spirits Absinthe Verte, made in North Rose. NY.
108. Kubler Verte: on the TTB site, confirmed on Facebook. "6,000 bottles for the US - just arrived. 375 mls only."
109. Mount Defiance absinthe made in Virginia. On TTB, and sold in Washington DC.
110. Les Poetes Recette 1903, from Racine, Val-de-Travers.
111. Green Siren Alaskan absinthe: 375 ml (two COLA's: no discernible difference). These do not state absinthe, but the herb bill and the method of consumption make it clear that it is an absinthe.

Publicly announced but not yet listed on TTB

112. Obsello Special Edition Distiller's Reserve: discussed on the Wormwood Society.
113. Arcane Absinthe?
114. Absinthe Minded from Oregon Spirit Distillers.
115. Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries have announced their intention to launch absinthe.
116.  Esprit Vert, from Southern Alchemy. As discussed on Fée Verte.
117. Wormwood Star Absinthe from Florida.
118. Lovelle Absinthe: In progress for several years. Now promising that "The first product line of Lovelle Absinthes will debut across the world in the fourth quarter of 2013." Not convinced!
119. Void Absinthe: "We are currently working building our new distillation facility" but, for some reason we cannot tell you where that is. Sounds suspicious!
120. Synthe Absinthe: from Disobedient Spirits, Pennsylvania.
121. Mariposa Absinthe: yes, that's Spanish for Butterfly.
122. Hapsburg Absinthe: confirmed in their Facebook feed.

Unsubstantiated Rumours and Gossip

123. Artemisia Collection: added here following comment left by Anonymous. To be transferred "up" the list as and when something more substantial appears or someone translates their website for me! Their latest press release suggests that they are looking for a US importer ...

As a quick side-note, some readers might be interested in this article about the TTB process.

And to read this from a letter in The UK Independent:

"Wine bureaucrats lose their bottle

Roger Hewell's letter (19 August) reminded me of a visit to a Californian winery. The labels on all the bottles, in addition to the usual health warnings, bore at the bottom the words "Open other end".

The proprietor told us that all wine labels had to be submitted for approval to the US government. When he sent in his first label with "Open other end" on it, it was returned with an instruction to remove these words. The proprietor replied that if the government would guarantee to pay all damages claimed by anyone who had tried to open the wrong end, then he would do as instructed. He never had a reply.

John Evans, Marlow, Buckinghamshire"

Back to the subject, do any of my readers have any other imminent absinthes to add to this list?


Juston Western said...

Thanks for putting this list together. I've been eyeing the Nouvelle-Orléans for years now, but never could bring myself to pay the clandestine courier charges, etc. I'll definitely be picking up a few bottles of that this fall.

Anonymous said...

I suggest also ArtemisiaCollection

Alan said...

Thanks for your comment, Juston. No firm date on Nouvelle-Orléans launch yet.

Artemisia Collection added to the list, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

#27. Herbsaint, The Sazerac Co. is working on an absinthe.

Alan said...

Thanks, Anonymous. Can you tell us anything else about Herbsaint? (I see that the Wormwood Society Forum is down right now so you can't read the link I made.)

Anonymous said...

I can't go into specific details at the moment, but Sazerac is working on an absinthe, and more will come out when they get TTB approval.

The Absinthe Review Network said...

Also, Catskill Spirits Absinthe (a verte). Mrs. Lins told me she's hoping to have it out by the end of 2008 and is doing the label herself in egg tempura paint.

Alan said...

Thanks, Absinthe Review Network.

Catskill is the Delaware Phoenix company (listed at no. 22). I'll clarify the original posting.

GStone said...

Hi Alan,

The TTB listed Marteau erroneously. The correct name is MARTEAU Absinthe de la Belle Époque.

Alan said...

Thanks, Hiram: I changed the entry.

I didn't really think that your French was that bad, but I also didn't imagine the TTB would make two mistakes like that.

Anonymous said...

Hope and prey that the Nouvelle Orleans arrives with no changes to the recipe. If it has not changed when available in the US, you are all in for a real treat. I have tried many absinthes and the Jade it1901 is the only one I keep on stock all the time. If/when NO arrives and you like it, I HIGHLY recommend spending the extra few dollars to order other Jade's from abroad. I spent some time calculating the price per drink of the Jade brand purchased from LDF. If you buy 2 bottles and use 1 ounce per drink, your cost per drink would be less than $6. This is not too much to pay for a truly incredible absinthe especially when you consider that delivery is usually 6-7 days!

Alan said...

Thanks for your comments, Tony.

Of course I agree that absinthes like La Clandestine and the Jade range ARE good value, even at 80 - 110 dollars a bottle.

And don't worry about recipe changes to either: the most significant changes are a larger bottle for La Clandestine and label changes as requested by the TTB.

La Clandestine arrives in New York early October, but I don't have a firm date for NO yet.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan,

I see TARN left a note about my forthcoming absinthes. I was hoping to have them out by end of 2008, but I'm still waiting for New York state approval of my distillery. Perhaps soon on that. TTB has conducted the lab analysis, but I still wait for actual formula approvals. I think the issue there is that everyone is on vacation.

While at one point I thought I'd do a painting for the label, that hasn't happened. With my crazy painting images, I was concerned about TTB's concern of hallucinogenic imagery.

Due to how long it takes to get a brand name approved by NY, I'm simply using the distillery name as the brand name, so it'll be under the name Delaware Phoenix.

Initially it'll be available in NY. Looking to get on the PA ABC special order list at some point.

Now that you've got absinthe importation down Alan, maybe you'd be interested in being the EU/Swiss agent for distributing my products. :) PM me over at WS/FV if you like.

Good luck having CLB here in the States! Happy New Year to you!

Anthony Trott said...

holy damn!


Anonymous said...

a lot of funky ones up there. im interested to try the herbsaint, and if even though absente sucks, at least i see a price war beginning at $31 !!!


Unknown said...

I don't see La Muse Verte Absinthe Traditionnelle on your list ; it was launched in June 2008, was 4 or 5th on the list of the TTB approved absinthe, was the first one in the US with a historical content of 68% vol. is made from fresh-cut baby absinthe leaves grown on the property in France and is sold succesfully in the 4 major US markets as well as other secondary markets. Pls look for it. Thank you.
Christine Cooney

Alan said...

Thanks, Christine.

Muse Verte is there at no. 13.

E said...

You may now update #58, Edward III New York Absinthe to APPROVED status!

Unknown said...

Sorry I missed it... it's the only one which is not highlighted or underligned so it's very easy to miss...

Alan said...

E: updated.

Christine: link now provided to the Heavenly Spirits home page. It is possible that there was no info up when I originally compiled the list. In any case, I should have updated it earlier so sorry for the oversight.

Anonymous said...

Is the Mephisto absinthe the U.S. market Montemartre? The labels look to be the same, I hope it is only a name change...

Alan said...

Hi anonymous,

Most informed speculation says that it is Montmartre with a different name for the USA. I guess we won't know until they announce it.

Edward III said...

Edward III New York Absinthe (number 52 on the list) is finally bottled and will be shipping from Drink Up NY as of next week ( I can say that with confidence because I will be personally driving the cases from the distillery back to the city this coming Monday or Tuesday.

A big apology to anyone reading this who pre-ordered from DUNY and was frustrated by an ever-evolving shipping date. Taking a liquor product from just an idea to the store shelf has proven to be more difficult than we could have imagined (but worth every drop of sweat)!

Alan said...

Well done, "Edward." I look forward to tasting it soon!

Unknown said...

Why the list is not getting updated?

Alan said...

Hi Ruby,

What do you think I have missed? I just saw that Tenneyson needs to be moved to the finally approved list. Other than that, I think the list is correct and up-to-date. If you think I have missed something, please let me know!

Alex said...

Is this still up-to-date in 2020?


Alan said...

Hi Alex,

Sadly it is not up-to-date. There are many more absinthes that have been launched in just one or two States. There are also several absinthes (perhaps between 20 and 30 absinthes) that have disappeared completely. Maybe I will tackle this task later. Sorry not to be more helpful.